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5-Minute Interview: Laura Davis-Taylor

Laura Davis-Taylor is the founder and principal of Retail Media Consulting LLC, a retail marketing and digital media-consulting firm in Atlanta. She is the co-author of ?Lighting Up the Aisle: Practices and Principles of In-Store Digital Media,? due out this month. For more about AV in Retail, see the insert, ?Guide to Doing Business in Retail AV,? in this issue.

Laura Davis-Taylor is the founder and principal of Retail Media Consulting LLC, a retail marketing and digital media-consulting firm in Atlanta. She is the co-author of “Lighting Up the Aisle: Practices and Principles of In-Store Digital Media,” due out this month. For more about AV in Retail, see the insert, “Guide to Doing Business in Retail AV,” in this issue.

Pro AV: How do you see the relationship between AV and networked media?

Davis-Taylor: We need to help the retail industry devise the right content strategy and how to measure its effectiveness, much like we have accomplished in the online world. There are opportunities to replicate what we do with online media in retail stores with digital media. Right now, retailers are using mainly digital signage and kiosks. It depends on the retailer's business model. I'm seeing more retailers that are building their own private digital signage networks; there seems to be more interest in controlling the network.

Pro AV: What digital media strategies are in use in the retail market?

Davis-Taylor: Some retailers use general advertising with 5-, 10- and 30-second spots. Some are using a more evolved strategy where they understand that people have three to seven seconds of attention to give. Rather than just ads, there is a more advanced message that brings the customer closer to the next step of the typical purchase path. The retailer must think: What are my issues? What is my resulting intent for this signage? What content is needed to fulfill the intent?

Pro AV: Is anyone getting it right in the market right now?

Davis-Taylor: No matter what flavor of retailer, the technology optimist will look for new opportunities. Unfortunately, most are followers. This market needs a benchmark case study, someone who's doing it right and doing it well for his or her shopper needs. There is no true leader at this point. The problem is that retailers are unsure of how to execute it. Technology will transform shopping, it's just a matter of who will do it first.

Pro AV: Why has audio not gained more ground?

Davis-Taylor: Audio is about breaking through the clutter and capturing attention. What happens is what I call employee burnout, from that audio loop that plays over and over. The employees end up turning it down or turning it off. There's a rise in the use of more directional audio technology —either providing sound in a specific area, or shooting that sound in a bubble to a specific spot. To ensure that it's not affecting everybody, you still must think of the experience of the shopper. If you are entering the store, then a welcome message is OK. If you are in a high traffic area of the store, the audio just needs to be synchronized with the experience. Audio has a place in the store, it just needs to be used strategically.

 


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